Tom Clancy’s H.A.W.X. Redefines The Jet Combat Genre

Posted by Christopher MacManus on March 9th, 2009

Image taken from Everyday Gamers

Tom Clancy’s H.A.W.X. (”High Altitude Warfare eXperimental squadron”) is an aerial warfare video game developed by Ubisoft Romania and published by Ubisoft for Windows, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. It was released in United States on March 6, 2009. H.A.W.X. is set in 2021 above the skies of a world increasingly dependent on private military companies (PMCs) and elite mercenaries who have a relaxed view on the law. As these non-governmental organizations gain power, global conflict erupts with one powerful PMC attacking the United States.

The game features an Enhanced Reality System (ERS), which can include radars, incoming missile detection, an anti-crash system, damage control system, tactical map, information relay, weapons trajectory control and the ability to give commands to an AI squadron. When fully activated, ERS provides assistance to the player. Some or all of these assists can be turned off to make the game more difficult and give the player more maneuverability. ERS can be disabled by a double-tap button press which gives more direct control over the plane. A cockpit view, ‘first person’, and ‘third person’ views are selectable. Many were skeptical about the success of the simulation after developers first refused to mention the existence of the cockpit view. An additional distant third person view is supported that gives the player an external view of both their plane and the target.


A demo of the game for the Playstation 3 on February 27, 2009 and PC on March 2, 2009. I downloaded the PS3 demo through the Playstation Store (Free, 803mb) and could not believe the clarity of this game in HD. The environment is completely mapped through GeoEye satellite services, which is the world’s largest space imaging corporation. It is the ultimate eye candy to fly around in this massive, super-detailed HD environment and shoot enemies down or launch guided missiles. I think the explosions could look a little better, especially when you crash into the ground. However, what is most innovative is turning off the assist mode option, which allows a truly unique flying experience that allows you to fly in third-person view, something I really haven’t seen a game do so gracefully.

Based from the demo, I will be buying the game soon.


In the demo, the player learns how to fly the aircraft with assist on and off. The demo has two missions, both based in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. “Operation: Off Certfication”: The player learns how to switch the assist mode off and must then shoot down training aircraft and dodge incoming missiles. “Operation: Glass Hammer”: The player must use the skills learned in the first mission to protect Rio De Janeiro from an attack. This mission provides an example of air to air combat with both fighter jets and bombers and air to ground combat with landing crafts and tanks.

i tried H.A.W.X demo on X360. gameplay is very interesting. i had played few flight sims before on pc but it was quite tough. this one is easy for a non-flight sim player like me. the ERS really helps in getting the target either in dogfight or hunting ground targets. graphics are not that satisfying. could have been better. but i haven’t tried this on PS3 yet. will download the demo soon and see how it goes on PS3. so far i kind of like this game. but i need to see which is more nicer on X360 or PS3. then i’ll get one.. anyway, thanks for this nice review by sonyinsider.


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